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Jakarta Post

Indigenous people to reclaim land after years of struggle

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, August 20 2016   /  09:54 am

For decades, indigenous people have been denied their rights to manage their own lands by the government.

Even when the forests have been managed for generations by their inhabitants, only the government has had the power to issue licenses for logging and plantations.

Forest areas have regularly been used by large corporations for industrial logging, pulp and paper and palm oil plantations.

These forest conversions have been the major cause of conflicts between government and local communities, who feel victimized by the land seizures and a lack of benefits.

In 2013, indigenous people were finally given hope after the Constitutional Court delivered a ruling on the 1999 Forestry Law that invalidated the government’s claim to customary forests.

But this hope is slowly disappearing as the indigenous people have not received access to their land three ...